Jordan Henderson joins esteemed list as Liverpool’s 10th title-winning captain

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Jordan Henderson has become the 10th Liverpool captain to win the English top-flight title, and the midfielder joins a list of club legends and football luminaries.

To add to his growing array of trophies with the Reds, including the Champions League and the Club World Cup, Henderson is now a Premier League champion.

It comes just under 12 years on from his debut in the English top flight with Sunderland, and nine years after making the £16 million switch to Merseyside.

For Henderson, it has been a rocky road, but the 30-year-old has fought for every opportunity and is now deservedly considered a key man at Anfield, and a worthy captain for Liverpool Football Club.

When he lifts the title, he will become the 10th player to do so while wearing the armband for the Reds, with a host of legendary names among his predecessors.

 

Alex Raisbeck

Titles won as captain: 1900/01, 1905/06


Raisbeck held the record of being Liverpool’s youngest-ever captain for 120 years before Curtis Jones‘ night with the armband in February, and he remains one of the club’s most esteemed figures.

A leader in the defence, Raisbeck joined in 1898 and stayed for 11 years, making 341 appearances for the club and captaining the side from 1900 to 1909, during which he lifted two top-flight titles.

 

Donald McKinlay

Liverpool team group: (back row, l-r) Dick Johnson, Tom Miller, Willie Cunningham, Jim Penman, Peter McKinney, Billy Lacey (third row, l-r) Trainer W Connell, Dick Forshaw, Harry Chambers, Elisha Scott, Harold McNaughton, Jock McNab, Billy Matthews, George Patterson (second row, l-r) Manager David Ashworth, Jackie Sheldon, Jack Bamber, Tommy Lucas, Ephraim Longworth, Donald McKinlay, Tom Bromilow, Bert Pearson, Secretary (front row, l-r) Jones, Bill Jenkinson, Lancashire Cup, Liverpool Cup, Harry Lewis, Walter Wadsworth

Titles won as captain: 1921/22, 1922/23


McKinlay was full-time captain for the Reds for over six years between 1922 and 1928, serving as leader of a dominant side in the early 1920s.

He became the first Liverpool captain to win back-to-back titles in the First Division, and was an ever-present in the 1922/23 campaign that saw them finish six points above Sunderland.

 

Willie Fagan

Willie Fagan, Liverpool inside forward, 1947 (S&G/S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport)

Titles won as captain: 1946/47


Perhaps the least well-known figure on this list, Fagan’s time at Liverpool was disrupted by the Second World War, but he returned in 1945 to take over as captain.

Fagan scored seven goals on the way to the title in 1946/47, before vacating the captaincy as Jack Balmer took over.

 

Ron Yeats

Liverpool captain Ron Yeats with the League Championship trophy, 1964 (Don Morley/EMPICS Sport)

Titles won as captain: 1963/64, 1965/66


The impact Yeats had on Liverpool following his arrival in 1961 could be compared to that of Virgil van Dijk today, and soon after his move to Merseyside, Bill Shankly appointed him his captain.

Liverpool won the Second Division in Yeats’ first season with the club, before taking two First Division titles in the years to follow; the hulking centre-back left in 1971, with Tommy Smith wearing the armband from 1970.

 

Tommy Smith

L-R: Brian Hall, Larry LLoyd, Tommy Smith, Alec Lindsay and Ray Clemence all Liverpool, 1973 ( Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport)

Titles won as captain: 1972/73


Smith was a formidable presence in the Liverpool defence in the ’60s and ’70s, and his no-nonsense approach saw him deemed the perfect leader to take over from Yeats.

His time with the Reds saw him lift the First Division title in 1972/73, before Emlyn Hughes took over as captain, allowing him to resume duties as a terrifying defensive rock without the armband.

 

Emlyn Hughes

Emlyn Hughes, captain of Liverpool FC leads his side out at Anfield.

Titles won as captain: 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79


Hughes wore the armband from 1973 to 1979, albeit sharing duties with Kenny Dalglish in his final season, and during that time he became one of the club’s most successful captains.

Back-to-back titles were won in 1975/76 and 1976/77, and after a break in which Nottingham Forest topped the table, Liverpool resumed their place as champions in 1978/79; Hughes left at the end of the season, having lost his place in the side.

 

Phil Thompson

1979, Liverpool players perform a lap of honour after winning 3-0 to clinch the League Championship for the third time in four years: (l-r) Alan Kennedy, David Johnson, Terry McDermott, Phil Thompson, Ray Clemence (PA Photos/PA Archive/PA Images)

Titles won as captain: 1979/80


Thompson became the second Scouser to captain Liverpool to the title in 1980, following Smith’s success 17 years previous.

His reign as captain was relatively short, as he made way for one of the club’s greatest-ever midfielders, but it was a run that also saw him become the first Scouser to lift the European Cup with the Reds.

 

Graeme Souness

Scotland and Liverpool's Graeme Souness.

Titles won as captain: 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84


Souness remains the only Liverpool captain to win three consecutive titles, and those came in a sensational period under first Bob Paisley and then Joe Fagan in the ’80s.

The Scot served as captain for three years, before handing the armband to Phil Neal when he left for Sampdoria in 1984.

 

Alan Hansen

(l-r) Ronny Rosenthal, Ian Rush, Ronnie Whelan, Alan Hansen and John Barnes (All Action/EMPICS Entertainment)

Titles won as captain: 1985/86, 1987/88, 1989/90


Prior to this season, Liverpool’s last title-winning captain was Hansen, who served the Reds with distinction from the back for 14 years and enjoyed two stints with the armband.

He is still one of the best centre-backs to ever wear the Liverbird on his chest, and deservedly considered a legend.

 

Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson is pleased with the Premier League players’ collective effort to help the NHS (PA)

Titles won as captain: 2019/20


It has been a tough run for Henderson at Liverpool, but he has battled against persistent injuries and outside perceptions to cement himself as a title-winning captain.

Lifting the Premier League realises a lifelong dream for the midfielder, who can now set his sights on more trophies in years to come.

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